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Preview: 4/18 vs. Giants

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Can Robbie Ray match Patrick Corbin?

Arizona Diamondbacks  v San Francisco Giants Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
Austin Jackson - CF David Peralta - LF
Hunter Pence - LF Ketel Marte - 2B
Andrew McCutchen - RF Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Buster Posey - C A.J. Pollock - CF
Evan Longoria - 3B Daniel Descalso - 3B
Brandon Belt - 1B Alex Avila - C
Kelby Tomlinson - 2B Nick Ahmed - SS
Brandon Crawford - SS Jarrod Dyson - RF
Chris Stratton - RHP Robbie Ray - LHP

Robbie Ray has been a bit of an enigma. His first outing, he was torched by the long-ball, allowing three home-runs and seven earned runs in five innings. The next time, his control was very shaky, Ray walking five in six innings, but he worked around the traffic to hold the Cardinals to just a single run. And last outing, the old Robbie Ray inefficiency problem reared its head, taking a hundred pitches to get through just 4.2 innings, averaging more than 412 pitches per batter. Yet, despite a 5.74 ERA, he’s 2-0 and the Diamondbacks have won all three of his outings.

Ray is still striking people out at a ferocious rate. 13.2 per nine innings, puts Robbie behind only Noah Syndergaard (13.9) among pitchers with at least 15 innings of work. But Ray has also walked 11 batters in his 15.2 innings of work: small sample size, obviously, but that walk rate is more than 50% higher than any previous year in his career. After having put up a FIP between 3.5 and 3.75, each of the previous three years, Ray’s FIP so far is more than five and a half. He had really been a “three true outcomes” pitcher: of the 71 batters he has faced, more than half (38) have walked, struck out or homered. But keeping the walks down will go a long way toward his ERA beginning to drop towards the range we expected

It has certainly been a weird start to the season for the rotation. Here are the starters by increasing ERA so far:

  1. Patrick Corbin
  2. Zack Godley
  3. Taijuan Walker
  4. Zack Greinke
  5. Robbie Ray

Anyone predict that to be the order after the first 10% of the season? Nope. Me neither...